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Mother of two, living life in small-town South Africa

Forgive me, I lurk

While doing some research on travel sites for a proposal, I came across this NYT column on lurking. As I’m often reminded, lurking is “very not in the spirit of interactive media”. Forgive me, but I lurk. I stalk. I hover around your blogs, postings and noticeboards. I seldom, if ever, comment. I may deserve your scorn, but now I have an excuse. The NYT has given me one: “… lurking can’t be a new phenomenon. What name did it used to go by — this practice of anonymously sitting back and taking in long sequences of words without producing any yourself? Hey, wasn’t it once called, perhaps, ‘reading’?”

So here’s Virginia Heffernan’s take on it:

Which brings me to my lurking problem. I can’t tell whether lurking is a devious violation of Web ethics or a return to luxurious nonparticipatory reading. I do know it seems indulgent. When I lurk, I relax, fall silent, become a cosseted 19th-century baroness whose electronic servants bring her funny pictures and distracting tales. I have no responsibilities. I’m entirely on intake. If I were reading Tolstoy or Anita Shreve this way, I’d be an N.E.A.-certified exemplar of civilization.

Exactly.

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